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Leanne, 43

Office Manager Leanne loves fun in the sun with her kids and chilling on the sofa. Her husband tends to look after the money stuff, but she thinks the classic gender roles are beginning to switch.

My relationship with money: "Okay"

"I work hard, earn my money, save a bit, spend some. Problem is the world’s got more expensive so we need more money – everything we were paying plus enough to save. I don’t know if I’m confident but I try to put a bit away each month."

My husband does the donkey work, but decisions are shared

"Historically it’s been the men who paid the bills and in modern years it’s women who can be doing this and making the decisions. I think my and my husband's decisions are more joined, but my husband does the managing of it. I have a load of other commitments like getting the kids ready and sorting out all our social arrangements. But making the actual decision – we do that together. He’ll just do the donkey work first, like looking up what the best options will be to change to and what the costs will be. 

"It’s like putting up Ikea furniture. I don’t do that, my husband does that. But if I had to I’d do it. I’d sit with the instructions for a couple of hours and make it work. The money is a similar thing."

Financial independence isn't just for men

"99% of my girl friends work and are used to having their own money. Whereas for my parents’ generation it was the men who worked and the wives got their money from their husbands. The next generation will be even more equal, maybe actually equal. We’ll have to see.

"I still think men are much more likely to talk to each other about money though. My husband came home the other night and said, “We’ve just switched energy provider!”. And I was like, “Alright…”. Women have way better things to talk about! Anything and everything!

"Still, I think it’s good for women to ask questions. There’s always this intimidation factor if you talk to a bank manager – they're usually a man – but you just need to do it.

"I mean I like to go to a woman mechanic if I can because you don’t always know how men are going to talk to you. But maybe that’s just me putting my stereotypes onto people. You just don’t know."

Maternal instincts don't pay the bills

"When I was having the kids and went on maternity leave I was used to earning a certain amount of money, and then the kids come along and cost more money so it’s a choice of going back to work full time or the cost of childcare.

"I sat with my husband and looked at expenses and what we could afford to carry on with and what we might need more of in the future, and wondered if it’s worth not even working at all because you’re paying more in nanny and nursery fees than you earn. 

"Now it’s more steady, working and knowing what the expenses are. So going forward I need to start thinking about their driving and university and that’s a cost exercise in itself. We’re still a few years away from that but in the not-too-distant future we will start planning."

My biggest money question...

"Is there a quick way to put money into an investment but still have the ability to take it out when I need it? Or should I set it aside for something like uni fees?"

Answer by Anna Sofat, Addidi Wealth

You can invest via a stock & share ISA (£20,000 each financial year) – the funds are available to you as and when you might need them. An easy and cost efficient option is the ISA from Vanguard, investing in its Life Strategy funds – you can invest in a fund with Life Strategy 20 (20% risk) or Life Strategy 40 (40% risk) – these are best for a term of 3-7 years. You can also invest in Life Strategy 60 or 80 (best for an investment term in excess of 10 years).

Given that the boys are 11 and 14 and you might need the funds, I would look to invest some about 50% in the 40% fund and the balance in a 20% fund – this would be the sum you should be able to access at a fairly short notice.

Please do note that the lower the risk the less returns you will get but your capital will also be less at risk.